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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

that it stopped at consisted of just a house or
two. I asked why Le Datier was particularly
interesting. He said that there was a very large
date palm and a very old negro with white hair.
We got to the station and saw the date palm. Beside
the palm was a farmhouse and in the farm-yard,
sitting on the doorstep and feeding the chickens, was
the old negro. There were a few tables in the yard
and we sat down to celebrate our arrival. The old
negro had been in France for years and was married
to a Frenchwoman. We did not like to ask him if
he had brought the palm with him from his native
country as it looked too old. Afterwards we took
the train back. It rattled horribly and was very
uncomfortable. When we took our walks along the
railway line we walked in single file. I went first,
then F., and lastly R. F., who was a great expert
on women and clothes, gave me instruction on how
to walk. He said that I carried myself well, and
knew how to wear my clothes, but my principal
fault was that I swung my arms like a windmill.
This I endeavoured to correct.
Our villa had a little stone terrace outside with a
few steps leading to the garden, which contained
two orange trees with about half a dozen oranges on
each of them. We gazed through the window in
admiration at our beautiful oranges, and as they
got riper I longed to eat one, but this was strictly
forbidden. In any case, F. pointed out, they
would be very sour. One day our landlord ap-
peared with his sack. We went for a walk and when
we came back we found no landlord and no oranges.
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